Traveling Light

There is much to be said for traveling light. Less baggage= less to lose, the less to drag around, less to hold you down and less to consider.

For years I was a collector. I still can be if I hold still long enough. I would collect things from everywhere. Every time I moved (which was frequent. Eight times in two years at one time.) I found something at the new place that would become a part of the collection. Something cool or quirky that someone else left behind. So, every time I moved I had a piece of that old place with me a memory an object from that time and space. It would travel with me and just became a part of who I was. When I sat around with people and I looked around the room I could quickly give you a story to go with almost everything I owned. It’s still nice to think of those things and those memories. They aren’t all bad. Some are funny and some are down right ridiculous.

But, what I found is that dragging all the past with me and all its objects became hard to handle and hard to move and God was trying to write a much better story then any of the stories triggered by any one of those objects.

I was far from a hoarder and I didn’t really obsess about these things. They just made me feel comfortable and they were hard to get rid of.

The first time I felt the Lord telling me to lighten my load I didn’t get it. Why does it matter what I have or keep? Who cares? I wasn’t materialistic they weren’t expensive things, I wasn’t wasting all my money on stuff.

Then God said, “If it’s not a big deal and no one cares then why do you need it?” I would argue that I just like the stuff and didn’t want to get rid of it. And then the convicting question, “what do you want more those things or Me (the Lord)?”  I would of course respond that I wanted the Lord more.  Then I would get rid of whatever it was I felt Him asking me to get rid of.  This may seem extreme or even silly to some of you.  First, of all I’m writing this expecting that you will believe not only that I talk to God, but that I can actually tell when He’s talking to me and what He’s saying.  So, I understand if this seems weird to you.  Just please bare with me a little longer.

So, I would get rid of my entire movie collection first.  God revealed I was taking too much pride in collecting entire sets of movies. Is movie collecting bad?  By no means is it bad, neither are movies or enjoying them. But, for me at that time they needed to go and God showed me part of my character that would not have been visible to me otherwise. So the movies went and so did some other things.  Then this purging of stuff began to become one of Gods main tools for refining me.  It became the way he would reveal the strangest parts of myself to myself.  Why certain things were harder to get rid of and why there were something I even justified keeping longer then I should have.

Bottom line is I used to keep, keep, keep.  And now I purge, purge, purge.  God helped me to grasp the concept that everything in this world is made by and owned by God.  Every stitch of clothing everyone ounce of metal no matter what shape it takes (car, phone, tools, electronics).  You name it and it is HIS. Not mine.  So if everything is His then He wills how it is used and where things belong.  If I am in His will He will provide what I need when I need it.  So, why hold onto all these things weighing me down?

This doesn’t just go for physical object either. This counts for feelings and resentments and expectations even.  We give these things too much control over what we do and where we go and how we live.

God has used the purging of things and the taking away of people (not deaths, just not in the same place in my life as they once were) to teach me these things.

God wants us to answer Him when He calls. He wants us to GO when He says go and do what He is asking us to do.  I have found that these lessons of perspective (who really owns what) I have been better prepared for last minute changes in plans and I don’t get as hurt over things not going as I thought they would.

Taking the bus again and riding my bike everywhere to prepare for my up coming trip has proven to be exactly what God had planned for this season. Yes, it saves me money for my trip and yes, the riding helps me stay in shape and it’s fun. But, more importantly God is strengthening me through the trials of peddling up hill against the wind to rely on his strength and not my own. He uses flat tires to reveal that everything has a purpose and things learned during one season are greatly needed in the next season. Nothing, we do or go through is wasted. He has used hurt from the past to build confidence in the future.  He has used my pride against me to humble me at His feet and He has used my defeats to show His victories over every detail of my past.

I wanted to hold on to old things for comfort and He wanted to hand me the world.  The closer I draw to Him and the more willing I am to let His Spirit rest upon me and the more I realize I was made for Him and not the other way around, the less I need and think I want. The more that happens the more free I feel. Free from material wealth and free to be full of His Spirit and free to follow His calling.

These are just things God has shown me, in the way He has shown me. He works in all of us in a way that speaks to us the most deeply. But, for me He has shown me the value of traveling lightly. Not letting things from the past drag me down or have too much weight in my future. Cling to Him and He will provide for every need as it arises and in its perfect timing.

-Father, I thank you for the lessons you give to each one of us. I thank you that you know us each so well you can speak to us in unique ways that hold meaning for us individually. You speak to me through these times of purging and others in ways that speak loudly to them. I pray Father for each person reading this that you will bless them with the ability to recognize when you are speaking to them. I pray a blessing of boldness for each of them that they will act on your will when they discover it. I pray Father, you continue to guide us through each season of our lives and you help us to take the lessons from one season and apply them to the next. Thank you Father, for all the blessings you pour out on us. In Jesus Name- Amen